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Getting started with Blackboard Tests - Staff Guide

Blackboard Tests can be used for both formative and summative testing. Student attempts are accessed via the Gradebook or by returning to the Test. Many question types are automatically graded but you can also create questions which require manual grading. Students see their results and feedback via their view of the Gradebook.

If you used Tests in Original (used for 21/22 modules and earlier), read our Original/Ultra Course View Blackboard Test Comparison guide to understand the differences. If you have a Test in an Original module and want to copy it into an Ultra Course View module, read our guide on the copying process for Tests.

Create a Test

Navigate to where you wish to add the test to your module. For formative tests, you may wish to put it alongside related learning materials. For summative tests, place within Submit My Work within the Assessment and Feedback folder.

Read - Create a Test

Hover your mouse where you wish to add the test until the + icon appears. Click this and select Create.

A menu will open, select Test in the Assessment section.

The test will be given a default name with the current date - click on the name to update it to something meaningful for your students. We recommend you include the due date in the name to highlight this to students.

By default the test is hidden from students, when you have finished building your test, you can change this by clicking on the text and changing the option from the drop down menu.

Add questions using the + icon in the section labelled 'Use this space to build your test'.

You can also add page breaks to the test via the + icon.

Watch - Create a Test


Question Types

These are the question types currently available:

  • Calculated Formula
  • Calculated Numeric
  • Essay (recommended for free short text answers, Turnitin is generally recommended for submission of essays by file due to its similarity report).
  • Fill in the Blank and Fill in Multiple Blanks
  • Hot Spot
  • Matching
  • Multiple Answer
  • Multiple Choice
  • True/False

Apart from the Essay question, feedback can be provided for correct and incorrect answers. There are negative marking and partial credit options for some question types.

Read - Question types

See Question Types on Blackboard's website for step-by-step written guidance on how to create each of the questions types.

Question Banks

Original Course View Question Pools are called Question Banks in Ultra Course View.

Questions Banks are a collection of questions you can use in one or more Tests.

You can copy Question Pools from 21/22 modules to your Ultra Course View module. When you browse the contents of your module from the copy interface, you will see a section called Question Banks which contains all of the module’s Question Pools.

If you have Tests with questions linked to a Question Pool, the associated Pool will copy automatically when you copy the Test. However, if you have multiple Tests linked to one Pool, make sure you copy them all at the same time. If you copy multiple Tests linked to one Pool separately this will result in multiple copies of the Pool in your destination module with each Test linked to a different copy of the Pool. 

See the Copying Content in Ultra Course View guide for steps on how to copy.

Creating a new Question Bank

To create a new Question Bank:

1. Click on the Question Banks option in the Details & Actions menu.

2. Click on the + icon and then New.

3. Edit the default Question Bank name.

4. Then add questions by clicking the + icon and selecting the question type from the drop down list.

If you need to edit questions in a Question Bank:

1. Click on the Question Banks option in the Details & Actions menu.

2. Click on the name of the Question Bank to see a list of the questions. Click on the three dots icon to the right of the question to edit.

Question Pools

Original Course View Random Blocks are now called Question Pools.

Question Pools can be used to present students with a different version of the test. For example, you can set the Pool to display 10 questions from a Question Bank of 50 questions. If you edit a question in a Pool, the edits appear everywhere the question is used. The same is true for edits you make in a source assessment's questions. Those edits affect all the question pools where the question appears.

Reusing Questions

You can re-use questions from other tests or question banks in your module. When you re-use questions you are creating a copy of questions. This means that if you choose to re-use the question and edit it in your new test, edits will not be replicated in the original question.

Read - Reuse Questions

See, Reusing Questions on Blackboard's website for step-by-step written guidance.

Watch - Reuse Questions


Accessing Test Settings

As you build a test, key settings are displayed to the right of the page. Click on the cog icon to open all the Test Settings available.

Details and Information

Enter the due date and consider which settings you wish to apply. Importantly, here you can choose to:

  • Prohibit late submissions or new attempts after the due date

Presentation Options

  • Display questions one at a time
  • Prohibit backtracking
  • Randomise questions
  • Randomise answers (for Multiple Choice/Matching questions)

Grading & Submissions

Consider how many attempts are allowed.

Decide here if you want students to see the total assessment grade as soon as it is marked (which could be on completion if automatically marked). Ensure Post grades automatically is deselected if you want to control manually the release of grades.

You can also set when students will be able to see:

  • Their submission
  • Automated feedback
  • Question scores
  • Correct answers

Note: the setting ‘After all marks have been posted’ requires every student on the module to have a mark posted.

Therefore, if any user with the student role does not complete the test, this condition cannot be reached. We recommend you release this information by date to avoid any issue. If you are not sure which date to set, select a date weeks in advance and manually adjust when you are ready to release. Bear in mind students will see this date in Minerva.

In this section you can also add a time limit and grading rubric.

Edit the Test

Individual questions can be edited by clicking the three dots icon ... displayed to the right of the question header.

Questions can be edited freely until a student begins the test.

If you need to change the score of a question following student attempts, the score will be re-calculated. The Editing tests and questions guide on Blackboard's website provides in-depth guidance on how to edit a test and covers what can and can’t be edited once there are attempts in progress.

Reviewing attempts and grading Tests

There are various ways to access students’ attempts, see Grading Tests on Blackboard's website which highlights the different methods.

Question Analysis

You can review an automated analysis of the questions in your Test once students have completed the Test. This will help you identify which questions may need reviewing, see Question Analysis on Blackboard's website for an in-depth look at how you can use this tool and why you may want to.

Accommodations and Exceptions

Accommodations can be set for a student on a module level. Students can have a due date accommodation which means their work is never graded as late in the Gradebook. Students can also have a time limit accommodation which will be applied to all Blackboard Tests and Blackboard Assignments in the module where a time limit has been specified.

Exceptions can also be set for individual Blackboard Tests (and Assignments). You can give an individual an additional attempt(s) on Tests or a different due date. You can also extend their access to an item e.g. if it is hidden from other students, you can allow an individual student to have access.

See set exceptions and accommodations in Gradebook for step-by-step guidance.

Related Guidance